Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy
Pages: 288
Release date: September 7th 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought at The Book Depository
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him. Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

First sentence:
This was getting old.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I had pretty high expectations for The DUFF because of the huge buzz around it. I'd gotten kind of wary of books with that big of a hype because I'd been disappointed quite a few times, but The DUFF is definitely worth the hype - I don't even know how to describe it, it's just so real! It's fast-paced, fun and entertaining, but it's also subtle and emotional.

I loved the whole idea of the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I guess it's kind of offensive, but I think it's a great concept. It's not something I'd thought about before, but that could really be true - I feel like the Duff all the time. I really liked the whole message of this novel.

What I loved most about The DUFF are the characters. Bianca is probably one of my favorite main characters ever. She's different from the girls I usually read about, but still really easy to relate to. She's actually the kind of girl I could really dislike if I met her in real life just because of her attitude - I think she'd come off as rude and unfriendly. But being able to know her thoughts and feelings made me understand where she's coming from, and I ended up loving her.

I loved how multi-dimensional the secondary characters are. In the beginning, Casey and Jessica (Bianca's best girlfriends) seemed kind of superficial and boring, but later on, when the reader finds out about their history and how their friendship developed, I really liked them, too, and enjoyed reading about them and the ups and downs in their friendship.

At first, I didn't get Wesley's and Bianca's relationship. Her hatred for Wesley (albeit fun to read about), seemed a little overdone to me. I didn't really get the transition from the hatred to their friends-with-benefits relationship. That change is too sudden, in my opinion, and should have been elaborated on more. Later on, though, I loved Bianca's and Wesley's relationship. Their chemistry is hot - the way they interact isn't the normal romance-type, but it's so much fun to read about. Wesley, the man-whore, would be the kind of guy I'd normally hate, but I really liked how the author made him a sympathetic character. He has problems, too, and I felt for him. It's adorable how sweet he is to Bianca, and the romance is definitely swoon-worthy.

The style of The DUFF is great. The way Bianca narrates is hilarious and touching at the same time. What I loved most is how honest it is - the whole novel is just such a realistic portrayal of teen life, and the emotions are honest and raw.

***The next paragraph contains spoilers.***
I'm not sure what to make of the family storyline. I really liked the unique idea, and how things get worse is described really well. I also loved how Bianca dealt with her family's issues. My problem, though, is the resolution - it just seemed too easy, in my opinion. Her dad goes too quickly from the raging alcoholic to the loving father who'd do anything to get better. Bianca's relationship with her mom is a little strange, too - she goes back and forth between being angry at her and understanding her, and I would have liked to see some kind of confrontation between Bianca and her mom.

The DUFF really is as good as everyone's been saying it is - honest and real with a great message, lovable characters and hot romance. I didn't like the resolution for the family storyline all that much, but it's still a great, fun read. If you haven't read this one yet, you should - it's definitely worth it!


  1. I loved The Duff! Glad you weren't disappointed, I know what you mean - I'm usually disappointed with all those really hyped up books. But The Duff really was awesome, I loved all the characters! Thanks for the review :).

  2. This book did have tons of hype, and everyone loved it! I haven't read it yet, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    New follower:)

  3. I really enjoyed Shut Out, so I can't wait to read The DUFF(:
    Awesome review!


  4. This is one of the book I looking forward to read and the cover is also amazing.

  5. I really like the DUFF idea too, I feel that way sometimes cause my best friend could be a supermodel & she always has guys flocking to her haha. Anyway, can't wait to read this! Great review, I really really liked it. :)

  6. I would love to win this in the giveaway hop.

  7. Great review! I've been looking forward to reading this for a while now.

  8. looks amazing! it's on my wishlist and I'd love to win this g8 book. :)

  9. I've never heard of this book before and I haven't read a lot of contemporary YA but this one sounds really interesting! From your review it sounds like their relationship would have moved too fast for me too, from enemies to enemies-with-benefits, but thanks to your warning I don't think it will bother me!

  10. Yeah, the hype on this book made me wary of it too, but people keep saying it was good. And I love a good character-driven story.


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